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On Wednesday . . .
ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced, “NFL and NFL Films have selected the New York Jets to serve as this year’s team on Hard Knocks, per sources. Jets report to training camp one week from today, July 19, and the cameras will be rolling in full force.”
But then, no announcement followed from the Jets, the NFL, NFL Films or HBO, the rest of that day, Thursday, or Friday morning.
Finally, at 7:01 PM on Thursday night, there was some kind of acknowledgment from the NFL.
Kevin Patra wrote on NFL.com, “The NFL is expected to announce on Friday morning that the New York Jets will be featured on the HBO training camp series, Hard Knocks, in 2023.”
But as of 3 PM on Friday afternoon, still nothing from the Jets, NFL, NFL Films or HBO.
So Patra’s Friday morning information didn’t work out. It’s not his fault. He was just going by what he was told by people above him. He’s not in the scoop business.
In my opinion, the delay is caused by all the parties involved trying to figure out how to spin this decision.
Robert Saleh’s quote on June 9, created a major PR challenge for all parties involved.
“I know there are several teams that would love for ‘Hard Knocks’ to be in their building. We’re just not one of them,” Saleh said on June 9.
Not sure about the “several teams” thing. Not sure any team wants to do it, but Saleh was trying to make a point, so that fact is kind of irrelevant. He was trying to tell “Hard Knocks” to go somewhere other than Florham Park.
So what do you say in the press release announcing the show with one of the stars of the show, if you will, saying he doesn’t want to be it?
How do you spin that? Surely that is what they were trying to figure out over the last few days.
And then to make matters worse, one of the other stars of the show, perhaps the biggest star, said this:
“They forced [it] down our throats,” Aaron Rodgers said about “Hard Knocks” in an interview KPIX’s Vern Glenn.
That quote threw another monkey wrench into the “what do you say in the press release” angle.
In my opinion, the Schefter announcement on Wednesday was a little bit of a trial balloon, to see what the reaction would be, before the parties involved made the official announcement.
Now after two days of seeing how the public and media reacted, they perhaps have a better feel for how to announce this.
But the long delay between Schefter’s announcement and the official announcement, tells you they were struggling with how to spin this in the official press release.
Also, they clearly wanted to do a Friday news dump with this story.
“Releasing bad news or documents on a Friday afternoon in an attempt to avoid media scrutiny is often called a ‘Friday news dump’ by members of the media,” wrote Taegan Goddard for the Political Dictionary.
July 14, 2023
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